Major John T. Stuart, then in full practice of the law [at Springfield], was also elected. During the canvass, in a private conversation he encouraged Abraham to study law. After the election, he borrowed books of Stuart, took them home with him, and went at it in good earnest. He studied with nobody. In the autumn of 1836 he obtained a law license, and on April 15, 1837, removed to Springfield and commenced the practice, his old friend Stuart taking him into partnership.From and after this election in 1834 as a representative, Lincoln was a permanent factor in the politics and the progress of Sangamon County. At a Springfield meeting in the following November to promote common schools, he was appointed one of eleven delegates to attend a convention at Vandalia called to deliberate on that subject. He was reelected to the legislature in 1836, in 1838, and in 1840, and thus for a period of eight years took a full share in shaping and enacting the public and private laws of Illinois, which in our day has become one of the leading States in the Mississippi valley. Of Lincoln's share in that legislation, it need only be said that it was as intelligent and beneficial to the public interest as that of the best of his colleagues. The most serious error committed by the legislature of Illinois during that period was that it enacted laws setting on foot an extensive system of
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